Good news! We now have power and flowing water at the experimental seagrass facility, this is a big step for us as it has taken quite a while to get through the construction phase of this project. Our next task was to set up the data and power cabling to each tank. We have spent the past two weeks pulling cables through hundreds of feet of piping to connect each tank to the mobile lab. Today we finished the cabling and the next step is to start setting up the control boxes which will monitor pH and temperature within each tank. It was a beautiful day at the aquarium, we have a very pretty spot right on the creek. Here are some pictures of us working hard.

We are all very excited to be have been awarded a new grant from NSF Office of Polar Programs! The title of our new project is “Warming and irradiance measurements in the Arctic: Determining the link between solar energy absorption and surface warming through long term observations.” This project will look at the connection between seasonal warming of arctic surface waters and the absorption of solar energy. We will be measuring temperature and light both in the ice and the water column at hourly time intervals using a new buoy system, in addition we will add a fluorometer at 5m depth in the water which will help us identify absorbing compounds such as phytoplankton and coloured dissolved organic material. Our collegues in this work areDr’s Mike Steele and Bonnie Light from the Applied Physics Lab at University of Washington, and Pacific Gyre who will make the buoys for us.

As we get to travel back to the Arctic for this project there is a lot of excitement in the lab, everyone wants to see polar bears. I’ll post more information as we progress with this project, we will be making the data from the buoys available in near real time, and will also develop a lesson plan for teachers. For now I will leave you with a picture from our last trip to the Arctic.

This the view every morning as I exit my sleeping tent.